From the news desk

CCID festive safety campaign launched

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With some two million tourists expected to visit the Mother City over the 2014/2015 summer period and most of them spending time in the CBD, the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) has launched its annual campaign to make tourists aware of basic safety during their time “downtown.”.

Every year the CCID implements proactive security interventions using its partnerships with law enforcement agencies to ensure a safe and secure Central City throughout summer and the accompanying festive season.

“The CCID’s Safety and Security department works closely with the South African Police Service and City’s Law Enforcement to ensure that we have a safe and secure Central City. The CCID’s Public Safety Officers are deployed in the CBD 24/7,” says Tasso Evangelinos, the Chief Operating Officer of the CCID.

Along with its regular brochure distributions throughout the CBD on the street and at venues such from retailers and restaurants and accommodation venues, the CCID is once again this year reminding locals and visitors alike to “Stash it, Don’t Flash it”. The campaign is being rolled out through street posters across the area, reminding motorists to be aware of leaving valuables in sight inside cars, and asking people on the street to be aware of pickpockets.

The CCID is public-private partnership established in 2000 by local property owners with a vision to see the Cape Town CBD rise from the “crime and grime” scenario it had fallen into, to once again become a safe, urban environment that promotes investment into the CBD through it’s “Open for Business” messaging.

The CCID’s “Welcome to the Cape Town Central City” brochure includes tips about what to do should do first and foremost to stay safe in various situations, from being in your hotel room or out and about in the street, but also provides information as to who to contact should a crime occur. It also gives information on how to deal with aggressive begging and how, instead, to “Give Responsibly” to one of the CCID’s partner NGOs through a simple SMS donation line.

Some of the tips for visitors and residents who are out and about include advice about not leaving handbags under tables, on the backs of chairs or on restroom hooks.

For those who may encounter aggressive begging, tips on how to deal with this include making contact with one of the CCID’s many Public Safety Officers deployed throughout the Cape Town CBD to assist people if they feel at all threatened.

Says Evangelinos: “Our officers can be easily spotted by the distinctive black and green uniforms they wear with the CCID logo prominently displayed. Their primary role is to assist the public so we ask that people do not hesitate to approach them.”

On the streets, visitors are advised to be sensible and not walk in deserted or dark areas. Good advice also includes keeping all possessions close and out of sight, not using cell phones while walking, and keeping mobile phones and wallets safely tucked away.

Says Evangelinos: “Common sense plays a big part in staying safe. For example, we often see people walking around with headphones on, listening to music, and this could distract them from what’s happening around them.”

Advice to drivers Cape Town’s Central City includes ideas such as having your keys ready as you approach your car, always ensuring you’ve locked your car doors properly before moving away from your car and parking in well-lit areas at night.

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